Parliamentary record : Part I debates (25 May 1988)
Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990
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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Wednesday 25 May 1988 Mr Coulter: Yes, that's it. Mr EDE: That is exactly it! From the mouths of babes come words of wisdom, Mr Speaker. That is what it is all about. Mr Coulter: Sit down and I will finish off for you. Mr EDE: Mr Speaker, during the last budget, the opposition attempted to obtain a good, hard analysis of what the budget was about, to draw out fundamental points and to get the information we needed and which the people of the Northern Territory wanted. That is what we attempted to do. Because of that, this government has decided to knock 4 hours off the amount of time we took to do that. If the government believes that an individual member on either side of the House is misusing his rights in committee, as set out in standing order 77, it has an option to act under standing order 79. Of course, whenever the government uses that option, it cops some political flak. If it misuses its numbers under standing order 79, it deserves to cop that fl ak. On this occasion, the government is using its numbers to change the rules of play. I cannot just sit here and take that. I hope that somebody on the other side of the House will .have the guts to stand up and move that this debate be adjourned so that the issues can be discussed more fully. To ram this through in this way is both disgusting and outrageous. Mr COULTER (Leader of Government Business): Mr Speaker, if there was ever an example of the pot calling the kettle black, we have just seen it. Let me read out the times spent on various divisions in the committee stage of the 1987-88 Appropriation Bill. On division 20, the member for Stuart spoke for 38 minutes, the Leader of the Opposition for 19 minutes and the member for MacDonnell for 28 minutes. On division 58, the member for Stuart spoke for some 36 minutes and 30 seconds, the member for MacDonnell for 1 minute, the member for Sadadeen for 1 minute and the member for Arnhem for 2 minutes. The figures show clearly who is the greatest culprit in terms of wasting the time of this House because, if we go back to 1985, the total time taken to debate the Appropriation Bill in the committee stage was 4 hours and 10 minutes and, remember, we had more money in those years. Mr EDE: A point of order, Mr Speaker! The minister is quoting from a document. I presume it is not confidential and I ask that it be tabled. Mr COULTER: You do not know anything about that either, do you? Mr SPEAKER: The minister will table the document when he has ~oncluded his speech. Mr COULTER: Mr Speaker, I am reading from information that was supplied to the committee. I will not be tabling the document. The member for Stuart was on the committee that put together these recommendations. Mr Ede: I was not. Mr COULTER: Sorry, the member for Arnhem was on it. Mr Speaker, may I continue? In 1986, the time taken Mr BELL: A point of order, Mr Speaker! I reinforce the point of order raised by the member for Stuart. 3346
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